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What Are Digital Billboards?

Thu Feb 23 | Posted by  Daniel Hooper

With everything going digital these days, it should hardly be a surprise that the prevalence of digital billboard advertising is on the rise. Although traditional billboards certainly still have their place and benefits, namely that they’re less expensive, use less energy, and are easy to maintain, more and more businesses and organizations are turning to digital billboard displays for their look, their effectiveness, their versatility, and more. Even though digital billboard cost is higher than that of traditional billboards, many are finding that the benefits supersede the costs.

To get a fuller picture of digital billboards and how they work, let’s look at the different types of digital billboards, what their benefits are, and how to make effective use of them.

Digital billboards across the city

Types of Digital Billboards

Digital billboards allow advertisers to make use of attractive displays that command attention more effectively than traditional billboards do. They also add a sense of vibrancy, style, and modernization. Because they usually show alternating messages, several advertisers can use them at once, making more efficient use of the space. And getting the message up and out is instantaneous as opposed to the more time-consuming process of taking down old ads and putting up new ones on a traditional billboard.

There are 4 main types of digital boards.

Flat-Screen LED – These are the most common and the type that probably first comes to mind. In cities, you’ll see them a lot at crosswalks, bridges, and skywalks, places where they’ll be conspicuous and seen by a lot of eyes. Brightness is adjustable so that messages can be visible during the day and also from greater distances.

3D – To make a stronger impression and make the display seem more “alive,” 3D digital billboards take two images of an object, each taken from a distinct angle, and then combine them. The effect makes our eyes perceive the two images as one image that appears to have more depth.

Interactive – QR code technology is one way to make digital billboards interactive, but there are other ways, including face detection technology, motion sensors, and voice activation. A really notable example is from March 2015 in the UK. To raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence, a group arranged to have the display show an image of a woman’s battered face. The screen was able to sense when people were looking for a longer period of time, and when that occurred, the bruises cleared and the woman said “Thank you.”

Mobile – Not all digital billboard advertising is dependent on people passing by and seeing it. It’s possible to get the message out to more people and in more places. In this approach, a truck with screens on three sides drives around to get people to see the ads. One example of how this can be effective would be a newly opened restaurant using mobile digital advertising in nearby residential and commercial areas, thereby reaching a lot of the people most likely to go to that restaurant.

The Benefits of Digital Billboards

Like anything else, digital billboards have their cons. Depending on location, they can cost more, though the same applies to traditional billboards. They use more energy. And they can be distractions for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

However, digital billboards deliver a number of benefits that for many users far outweigh the downsides:

  • They reach more eyes. Since digital billboards are built in highly visible locations that see a lot of activity, the advertising reaches a broader target audience.
  • Innovation and creativity. There are almost no limits to what you can program for a digital billboard display, so they provide a great opportunity for being innovative and creative.
  • Fast and easy to edit and change. With a traditional billboard, if there’s information that needs to be changed, that’s a manual process that takes time. When you’re using a digital billboard for advertising, though, you can make edits, changes, and new ads in real time. No more printing, painting, and installing!
  • Programmable for target audiences. Everyone’s familiar with the advertising approach that aims to get the attention of specific groups, but did you know that digital billboards can be programmed to display the right message at the right time? For example, sensors can detect when the temperature rises to a certain point and then display ads for something refreshing like a cold soda or ice cream.
  • Pick your time. Since digital billboards usually feature ads and messages from more than one advertiser, the user gets to select which time slots are the best for them. If you’re operating a restaurant and advertising a breakfast special on a traditional billboard, then it’s not doing anything for you for much of the day, and people seeing the ad at, say, 9 p.m. are likely to forget all about it come the next morning. With a digital billboard, you can choose the times that are going to work best for reaching the target audience.
  • Run a series of messages. If your advertising campaign uses several different messages, or if it uses messages that build on one another, tell a story, or require a certain order, a digital billboard provides you with that capability.

How To Use Digital Billboard Advertising Effectively

There have been studies showing that more than half of people who view digital billboards take notice of or engage with them in some way. Because they’re more eye-catching and visually pleasing than traditional billboards usually are, the chance of making a favorable impression and driving follow-up action is higher.

To make effective use of digital billboard advertising, consider the following:

  • Location. Isn’t it always the location? Selecting the best location is probably the biggest make-or-break factor.
  • Message. Digital messages are only on display for a limited amount of time before someone else’s comes up, so the message needs to be clear, concise, and engaging.
  • Call to Action. You’ve got the viewer’s attention. Does the viewer know what you want them to do?

Formetco Digital Billboards

Do you need a digital billboard for an outdoor location? At Formetco, we’ve developed an industry-leading LED digital billboard with a proven reputation for image quality, energy efficiency, innovative design, and reliability.

Get in touch to learn more about our billboards and explore costs and affordable financing. Digital is the way to go now, and we’re helping lead the way. You’re going to love the results of your new advertising campaign! Give us a call today.

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